Xavi has spoken to the press ahead of Barcelona’s next La Liga game against Cadiz on Sunday at the Camp Nou.
The Barcelona boss talked about Pedri’s injury, the return of Sergio Busquets, what he expects from Cadiz and some of his players who have been struggling for game time.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Cadiz
We expect a much more defensive opposition, more direct football. I expect quite a low block from Cadiz. So we will have a typical home match where we’ll dominate the ball and will try to look for opportunities, attack the space, try to get players forward. Cadiz defend really well and playing them at home in recent years has been difficult for us.
Xavi on Pedri
It’s unfortunate to lose him. Pedri is extremely important, vital. He makes the difference, controls the tempo and is transcendental. There will be moments for everyone, they have to be ready. I hope we don’t miss him as much as we did last season.
Xavi on rotation
Regardless of whether we win or lose, there’s a knockout game coming up and we need to make rotations because there is fatigue, there are knocks, we have a lot of matches in a short amount of time so we need to rotate. Everyone is training really well. It’s a moment to rotate not just because of Thursday, if that was a league game we’d make the same changes.
Xavi on Lewandowski
I see Lewandowski very well, in a good moment of form, perhaps before he was at an extraordinary level and that is why it seems that he is lower now, but he helps the team a lot.
Xavi on Ferran Torres
Ferran Torres needs confidence, when a player is in low form he needs confidence. When you don’t have the performance that people expect from you, you need confidence. I have extreme confidence in everyone.
Xavi on Franck Kessie
Kessie has been patient and had to wait for his moment and now he’s an important player for the team. He’s given a lot to the team with no bad attitude, no words of discontent. He’s been professional, he’s training hard and now his moment has come. He’s a great example to the squad.
Xavi on 4-4-2
I have never used the 4-4-2 in my life as a coach, nor have I worked on it nor do I like it. If we take any photo of the team in attack or defense, it will never be a 4-4-2. We attack in a way and we defend in another. Never, ever, a 4-4-2. Sometimes we can play with two pure wingers or not. It depends on the game, the rival. Having alternatives makes us stronger.
Xavi on Busquets
The absence of Busquets is always noticed. He is a player who works really well tactically, recovers the ball, he has a winning mindset and we are almost always in the opposition half thanks to his work. You notice in the one on ones, in the circulation of the ball, he has a great pass. We’ve missed him. Having him back is good news for the team.
Xavi on Dembele
For Dembele it’s soon, he’s already doing something in the field and jogging, but it depends on his feelings. He’s with the rehabilitators, then he’ll return to the group.
Xavi on the refereeing scandal
Today we focus on Cadiz. We are focused on our work. We haven’t discussed it as a group. We haven’t talked about it.
Xavi on Pablo Torre
Pablo Torre is ready and he has to be because the team will need him, I would like everyone to play, but it’s impossible. It’s not easy because he has great competition. This is football, there are many people who don’t play. He is different, he’s not like Pedri, Gavi, Kessie and Frenkie. He’s more of a midfielder to be close to the striker, with a shot and the ability to make a difference.
Xavi on Araujo
Araujo is suspended, he will rest on Sunday and that is why he has worked alone, with a different rhythm, it was planned.
Xavi on Raphinha
We asked for the signing of Raphinha. I am the one who has trusted him the most, he is already the top assister, he scores, in one-on-one he dares more. He is an extraordinary player, he is succeeding and he will succeed, without a doubt. When he received criticism I had zero doubts that he was going to succeed.
Xavi on Eric Garcia
I’m being unfair to Eric Garcia, he deserves more minutes, it’s wonderful to train him, he doesn’t complain, he works very well, always with a smile.